New Jersey’s Latest Bear Hunt Set to Kick Off Monday

TRENTON (AP) -

New Jersey’s latest state-mandated bear hunt is set to open Monday, with hunting permitted in more areas as the state ramps up its efforts to control its bruin population.

State wildlife officials tout the annual hunt as an important part of their bear management plan, saying it’s needed to also help protect the environment. But it continues to draw fire from animal activists and other critics who claim it’s inhumane and unnecessary.

Supporters, however, note the number of bear-human incidents has dropped since the hunts started.

“With New Jersey being so populated with bears, we think it’s just good, sound scientific management,” said Pola Galie, president of the state’s Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.